“We are in an age of unprecedented change, it’s a ‘revolutionary’ time to be alive! The question we need to be asking ourselves is - ‘Am I leading that change?’ I believe we all have a choice to step up into personal, professional and social leadership. We have a choice to become agents for change, amplifiers, thought leaders to upgrade our thinking and lead our very own revolutions.”

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Entries in business (4)

Thursday
Sep132012

Divide and conquer  

If you want to create a more interactive presentation, use a simple 4 part segmenting tool like DISC with the room and the ‘Gang Belonging Effect’ will create a more social and responsive conversation. People who feel they belong are happy to take risks and share. Divide and conquer.

If you have a huge task you need to accomplish break it down into it’s component parts and get to work knocking off the stages. Next time your daunted by the mammoth task ahead of you its simply because you didn’t divide and conquer.

Finally, if you need to engage a community or enroll a list of people, break them down into segments and develop specific campaigns that engage these segments around what they care about.  It might be efficient to send one message to all people but its not likely to enroll them effectively. Segmenting lists is an example of divide and conquer.

Its an idea that’s as old as time but its really the key to making anything large project a reality.

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Aug232012

12 questions to help you grow your business

Marketing

Marketing is where it all begins. Its about generate new interest in what you do. Ogilvy the original madman said ‘ we know half your marketing works we just dont know which half?’ This is why split testing and online analytics are so exciting. They let us test and validate our marketing efforts.  

1. Are you able to measure the effect of any marketing right now? 

2. How can you use social media and other strategies to raise the profile of your business?

Sales

If marketing creates new interest, its your formal sales process that generates new business.  Meet new people, understand their needs and make offers.

3. Do you have a clear understanding of how what you do differs from others? 

4. Have you identified what problems you fix, do yoru ideal clients express these problesm as true for them?

Relationships

Its easier to sell more to an existing customer than its is find new ones, this is such a fundamental truth. You already have trust, you already understand their business. So be sure to find out how you can give more to the people you already serve.

These three activities; marketing, sales and relationship development are the PUSH activities. They require pretty significant exertion, but they do result in more business. The next three activites are PULL based. 

5. Have you classfied your clients into A,B,C categories?

6. Are you working in your A categories to offer them more value every quarter?

Referalls

World of mouth is powerful and most definitely one of the most impactful ways to grwo your business. Do good work, create raving fans and enjoy the glory. Bottom line referrals are about getting great at what you do and then getting known for that greateness. Extraordinary service, going the extra mile and consistently doing great work.

7. Do you know how customers find out about you?

8. Do you have system for saying thank you?

Recommendations

This is what happens when you enter into formal and informal joint ventures. These relationships become active referers and may in many cases involve profit sharing and commissions. Pathology labs work with medical practices in this way.

9. Who has your clients trust already?

10. Is there a way you can partner in value with them?

Positioning

This about being the market leader. Its about being known for what you know. Market leaders are often innovating and driving best practice. They don’t follow others, they set the standard that others chase to embrace. They are the industry Thought Leaders.

11. Who is market leader in your industry?

12. What opportunites can you identify where you can speak, write or comment on how things should be done in your industry?

You need to be across all 6 activities but work from the top down as well and not simply the bottom up. 

Thursday
Aug232012

How to grow your business

Many people get distracted by all the different business growth strategies around. Capital is great, joint ventures are great, getting more active around sales is great. 

But what activities should we do when and are they all created equal?

The problem for entrepreneurs and business owners is not that we dont know what to do to grow our businesses, it’s that we have too much choice and its often hard to prioritise. So we desperately launch and latch on to the next idea. Creating a storm of activity for our teams, sometimes unproductively. The late Dr Stephen Covey called it the hurricane. Helping your team stay out of the entrepreneurs hurricane and  focused on what really matters is a challenge.

All the recommended strategies in the world are great, you simply cant find time to do them all. At Thought Leaders we reckon this is the pointy end of the business growth conversation.

FACT 1: Entrepreneurs are the GROWTH leader for their business. You dont outsource the strategic growth thinking to others, its kind of the only thing you want to be doing as the owner right?

FACT 2: Often you are so flat out servicing the existing business and clients you dont have a lot of energy to do the growth work. As a result you have this wierd sell and service tug of war going on. Periods where you are pushing to grow the business and periods where you are despearely trying to service the growth you created.

So what to do?

Well you have to focus on the basics, for me there are six business building activities. The following model shows their hierarchy with a qualitative indicator of their degree of leverage and impact.


Tuesday
Mar092010

Why thought leaders work themselves into their business - not out of it!

The ‘E-Myth' by Michael Gerber is a great book. In essence, it explains how a business owner needs to be obsessed with removing their fingerprint from the business.

Otherwise, Mike's Plumbing will always be dependent on Mike, and Julie's Bookkeeping Services will always be dependent on Julie.

I love the ideas in this book, yet also know of a place where they don't exactly apply.

That is, in the area of thought leadership. I doubt very few bookkeepers, plumbers or widget makers are passionate about pipes, accounts or widgets. But as a Thought Leader, you ARE into your expertise.

Indeed to be a great thought leader, you should be obsessed about your expertise.

It may be growing a small business; it may be about selling via relationships; or possibly it's about creating wisdom in the workplace. Whatever your expertise is, you should actually look for ways to put more of you into the business - not less.

Here are four ways you can put more of you into the business.

1. Register a domain name that is your personal name
2. Create a newsletter that is from you personally
3. Speak at your own events. Don't outsource this to someone else
4. Make sure your name is managed like a brand

Here are three ways you can get out of the way.

1. Hire a PA
2. Make your job the job of make up and have other people do the set up and clean up activities
3. Invest in mentoring from others so you can accelerate your learning curves

You should still create systems and processes (the key idea in the ‘E-Myth') but these should be not so you can sell out of the business, but rather so you can buy more into the parts of the business that fill you up.

Keep thinking.

M@

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